COVID-19: Bayelsa Chief Judge orders closure of courts

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to escalate across Nigeria, the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Justice Kate Abiri, has given an order for the immediate suspension of court sittings across the state.

The order, contained in a press statement signed and issued to newsmen in Yenagoa by the Head of Media and Information of the Bayelsa Judiciary, Mr Julius Nyananyo, explained that the suspension takes effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and would last for two weeks.

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The statement read: “the suspension is in line with the directive from the office of the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Ibrahim Tanko-Muhammad, as measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.”

According to the Chief Judge, in order to take further preventive steps in tackling the reality of coronavirus in the country, all Judges, Magistrates, Chairmen of Customary Courts are advised to adhere to all government directives.

Explaining further, Justice Abiri said the directive is aimed at protecting Judges, Magistrates and other staff of the courts and litigants from contracting the disease.

She, however, said the courts will only be open to matters that are urgent, essential or time-bound according to the extant laws and calls for understanding from the litigating public.

The Chief Judge, therefore, called on the general public to take cognisance of the consequences of the disease and appealed that the decision is in the best interest of the public health of court users.

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